Jon Hammar, a former U.S. Marine, has been jailed in Mexico since August. He was arrested on his way to Costa Rica for a surfing vacation because of a gun he brought into the country, which he says he had declared with the proper paperwork. CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.
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Reporter's Note: President Obama is monitoring the news about North Korea’s rocket launch. I assume he is also monitoring my latest letter to the White House…
Dear Mr. President,
Is it just me, or do you sometimes feel like you just can’t turn your back on the North Koreans for five minutes? Considering all the build up to their missile launch earlier this year that ended in a colossal failure, I was really caught a bit off guard to realize that they were so quietly and quickly to take another shot at it; and to see them apparently pull it off, putting a satellite into orbit, is pretty impressive.
I mean that, of course, in an “it’s impressive that a seemingly unstable, scary regime can get this close to having an ICBM” kind of way.
Seriously. What they accomplished is no small feat. Sure, they likely had some help from the Iranians and maybe the Russians as well. And yes, maybe it was a bit of a fluke. Perhaps they can’t repeat such a launch again, or at least not for quite some time. But certainly they have to be encouraged by what they’ve seen and, one way or another, you can bet they’ll be back on the launch pad soon enough.
See, I believe that once something unimaginable becomes imaginable, it is much, much closer to become a simple reality. The North Koreans appear to have long desired to be a great nuclear power, capable of threatening their enemies…supposed and real…from afar. Once, they could not have even hoped for such a thing. Now, they have imagined it for a long time. And tomorrow? Well, I think the more they progress down this road the more the rest of world will have to start imagining something too: What, if anything, can we do about it?
I’d love to chat this over if you have some time, so feel free to give me a call. I’m around. Busy, but around.
Jon Hammar dreamed of escaping to Costa Rica. As a U.S. Marine he served his country in Iraq and Afghanistan and returned home to battle with post-traumatic stress disorder. After getting treatment, he was ready to start his life over.
Costa Rica was where Hammar, 27, an avid surfer, wanted to find some calm, riding the waves and relaxing. He left with a friend, another former Marine, but their drive from Florida to Costa Rica didn’t go as planned and now he’s facing another battle. The U.S. veteran is behind bars in Mexico, facing gun charges and his family is speaking out tonight on 360, pleading for his release.
Hammer’s parents, Jon Sr. and Olivia, say the trouble centers around the decades-old Sears and Roebuck shotgun he brought along on the trip. It was Hammer’s great grandfather’s gun.
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